WASHINGTON (April 28, 2000) -- The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, a revival of the 1960's animated series, heads the Catholic Communication Campaign 1-800 movie review list for the week April 28 - May 4. For adults, Frequency, an exciting fantasy thriller about father and son time travelers is also an appealing period piece.
The movie line number is 1-800-311-4CCC. Movies are evaluated according to artistic merit and moral suitability by the U.S. Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting. The list includes the following theater releases and their classifications:
- The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas -- Because of slight sexual innuendo and fleeting crass language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas is an entertainingly silly live-action comedy about the early days of the popular Stone Age family as poor-boy Fred courts beautiful heiress Wilma, and the whole gang including Barney and his future fiancee Betty, head off for a fun time in Rock Vegas. The spirit of the 1960's animated TV series comes to life with plenty of prehistoric puns, a zippy pace and colorful visuals that give the film its "eye candy" appeal.
- Gossip -- Because of some sexual encounters, brief violence, heavy underage drinking and some rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Gossip is a mean-spirited drama about three college students who spread a malicious rumor that two other students slept together, but the gossip backfires on them in deadly fashion. Filled with vile, unsympathetic characters, the film's inane storyline and twisted ending offer little satisfaction.
- Where the Heart Is -- Because of some flippant attitudes towards sex and pregnancy, a few sexual encounters, brief subplot involving pedophilia, fleeting rough language and some profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Where the Heart Is is a mediocre comedy-drama about a pregnant teen-ager (Natalie Portman) who is driving cross-country with her boyfriend when he abandons her in an Oklahoman Wal-Mart where she finally finds a family among the caringly quirky townspeople. The choppy film delivers piecemeal scenes which limp along to an upbeat conclusion.
- U-571 -- Because of recurring war violence and fleeting crass language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. U-571 is a suspenseful World War II action-drama about a young Navy lieutenant (Matthew McConaughey) leading a daring mission to commandeer a disabled German U-boat and capture a top-secret Nazi encryption device. The intense visual effects are striking and the movie sharply captures the claustrophobia of submarines although bland performances make it difficult to distinguish among the characters.
- Love and Basketball -- Because of an intense sexual encounter, an instance of rough language and some vulgar expressions, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Love and Basketball is a notable sports-themed romance covering 15 years in the life of a talented female basketball player who must choose between her passion for the game and her lifelong love for her athlete-sweetheart. The film's slightly pat script and foreseeable ending are balanced by pleasing performances and natural weaving of the sport of basketball into the narrative.
- Frequency -- Because of some harsh violence, a few disturbing images and fleeting crass language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. In Frequency, a young cop (Jim Caviezel) communicates with his firefighter dad (Dennis Quaid) thirty years in the past through a ham radio, and, saving him from a fatal blaze, sets off a chain of events, including the grisly murder of the cop's mother -- unless the father-son time-travelers can prevent it. The intriguing fantasy thriller is too neatly tied-up with a sappy resolution, but its twists and surprises are gratifying as is the appealing period detail.
- The Fox and the Hound -- The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 classic in which a fox and hound raised as friends have to confront the consequences of the roles assigned them by humans and nature in this Disney-animated feature. Based on the book by Daniel P. Mannix, it should make pleasant entertainment for the young, though its sentimentality and cloying cuteness will put off older and more demanding viewers.
The movie reviews are produced by the U.S. Catholic Conference (USCC) Office for Film and Broadcasting, which each week provides full length movie reviews, brief capsules and film classifications of new theater releases.
Reviewers include Gerri Pare, Director, and Anne Navarro, Officer, of the USCC Film and Broadcasting Office.
The capsule reviews are available on the World Wide Web. They can be found on two sites: http://www.nccbuscc.org and http://www.CatholicDigest.org/stops/movies/index.html.
Reviews of movies classified by the USCC can also be found in Our Sunday Visitor's Family Guide to Movies and Videos, edited by Henry Herx and available in bookstores for $29.95 per copy. They can also be ordered direct from OSV by calling 1-800-348-2440 or ordered online at www.osv.com.